Ouch, my head, why did this game have to be so early? It was 7:45 AM for us State side. My body must be accustomed to waking up for this game on the weekend, because I was up just in time for our first goal. It was quite a good way to start the new year, though.
The game got off to a great start, when City were awarded a corner kick and after the ball was headed out of the box, it found the feet of Fernadinho who fired a low shot in to the back of the net. Against a difficult squad like Swansea, this was the type of start needed to get all three points. But, unlike in the past, City did not use this goal advantage to build some momentum. After the goal, we played passively and allowed Swansea to take the game to us. As a result, they were able to grab a goal right before half time. Swansea certainly deserved that goal; it was just bad timing on our part, giving it up right before going into the locker room. It is always interesting to see how a team will come out after that, because it would be easy to beat yourself up for giving up a goal at that point in the game. But, keeping with our recent form, City weren’t going allow it to affect our game, and we came out aggressive in the second half.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, City’s assertive mindset was rewarded. Toure fired a shot towards goal after a loose ball landed at his feet. His shot took a slight deflection and beat Tremmel to put City up 2-1. Just eight minutes later, Kolarov added another goal, as he bulleted a right footed shot towards goal. Tremmel dealt with the shot poorly and found the back of the net. No, you didn’t read that wrong, Kolarov scored with his RIGHT FOOT! The final act of play, which made the last minute and a half interesting, was a goal by Bony, who doubled his scoring as he fired a distance shot into the bottom right corner, beating Hart.
These last three games, which capped off a jam packed month-plus of games, has really shown the character and depth of our team. Earlier this season the close games were our kryptonite and we would find ways to draw or lose. Now though, we remain focused for the full 90 and put together a total team effort. With the lineups constantly changing, this shows that all our players understand their roles and aren’t looking to out shine one another. Milner and Garcia are the best examples of this; they may not start often but when they enter the game, they understand what is being asked of them, and help the team.
Our loss to Sunderland, which seems like ages ago, has been a wake up call for our Blues. Since that game we have gone 11-1-0 in all competitions, and have won seven straight. This is a great run we are on, we’ve scored an absurd amount of goals (6 against Arsenal and Tottenham) and we have played against tough opponents as well. I know I speak for everyone when I say, let’s keep it going!
Happy New Year everyone, here’s to seeing us raise a trophy, or two, this May!
Negredo (6) – He had his opportunities to get a goal, and I’m sure he’s frustrated that he couldn’t. But, he always is just a moment away from scoring and putting himself back in his goal getting ways.
Dzeko (6) – Same as Negredo in terms of chances, he just always seems to find away to let his touch get away from him. I’ve said this in the past; he needs to score this season, and it is extremely important to our success.
Nasri (6) – He can’t have great games all the time, and today was one of those days. He couldn’t get himself into the thick of the game, especially compared to some of his performances in the past.
Navas (8) – He was a creator today, constantly taking the ball at the defense. Having his wing partner back helped, too. I’m sure there is a lot of respect between Pablo and Navas, as Jesus always covers for PZ when he makes his runs down the wing.
Yaya (7) – He struggled in the first half, but after scoring and with Garcia subbed in, he was set loose on Swansea and he was very influential after that. Not to mention he put his foot through the ball (and the defender) to get his goal.
Fernadinho (7) – His steady improvement this season continued today, as his energy was on display again. Whenever an attacker is right outside the box, you can bet #25 will be there. Another excellent game.
Kolarov (8 MotM) – Stand out performer today, defending well and scoring the winning goal. I have been extremely impressed by his improved 1 v 1 defending, this season. Kolaclause has come to down, again!
Kompany (7) – Always a rock in the middle, and his height in the box has been a big factor for our defense. He reads the game better than most center backs in the world, and he has been using that to close down and stop attacks in midfield.
Nastasic (7) – After one game back, where he seemed to struggle fitness wise, he was back to his old ways. Making strong and important interceptions, and not to mention his hair, oh that hair! Sorry all those Garcia hair lovers!
Zabaleta (7) – His influence in the width of our attack is essential. Last game, with Boyata in, we weren’t able to get as much width, but with Pablo today it was “as you were”.
Hart (6) – He may not be as pretty with the shiner, but that doesn’t take away from his performance today. Other than that second half swing-and-miss, he was solid.
Garcia (6) – Solid defensive substitution, and did well to solidify our midfield. I have been harsh towards him in the past, but I like when he comes on late as a defensive contributor
Milner (6) – Just another great defensive sub by Pellegrini, and Milner makes it easy for MP, since he’ll do anything you ask of him. Holding the ball, and letting the clock run out; such a smart player.
Rodwell (N/A) – Hope to see him in this weekend during our first FA Cup game.